DC police release bodycam footage of deadly shooting, say man ‘brandished a firearm’


Note: the video above contains graphic content

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Police officers in Washington, D.C., fatally shot a young Black man Wednesday who the department said had “brandished a firearm” at the officers, prompting protests amid increased nationwide and local scrutiny over police tactics.

The killing lead to a late-night face-off between police and dozens of protesters outside a city police station. Police identified the victim as 18-year-old Deon Kay of southeast D.C.

A subsequent statement from the Metropolitan Police Department said Kay was one of two people who fled Wednesday afternoon when approached by uniformed officers who were investigating reports of a man with a gun in the area.

“During the foot pursuit, one of the suspects brandished a firearm. In response, an officer discharged their firearm one time, striking the suspect,” the MPD statement said.

The other man who fled escaped from police. Officers at the scene performed CPR on Kay, he was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The police statement included pictures of the handgun they say Kay had been carrying, as well as the gun of another of his companions who was arrested.

The local Black Lives Matter affiliate called for immediate protests outside the MPD’s 7th District headquarters, stating in a tweet, “DC police murdered a Black man today.”

Later Wednesday night, videos posted on social media showed dozens of enraged protesters jostling with a line of police officers, who used bicycles to help form a barrier in front of the station.

The shooting comes as police killings of Black people have sparked nationwide protests and calls for sweeping police reform, prompting local efforts by the D.C. Council to bring greater transparency to such incidents.

In June, following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, the council passed emergency legislation requiring the MPD to release any body camera footage from any fatal shootings or use-of-force incidents within five days. The department must also release the names of the officers involved.

In July, the city released body camera footage from three separate fatal incidents dating back to 2018.

The department released the full bodycam video of the incident Thursday. You can watch the video below, or on the DC police YouTube channel.

In the video, you can see the responding officer run toward a parked vehicle, yelling “don’t move!” Deon Kay exits the vehicle as the officer nears it and begins to run toward the officer, as the officer again shouts “don’t move, don’t move!” before firing his weapon and striking Kay.

Still image from the bodycam video courtesy DC police

Kay is down on the concrete as the officer searches for Kay’s gun in a grassy area near the parking lot.

“He threw it,” the officer who fired at Kay says. “I got to find it, where is it?” The officer then locates the weapon and says “hey, I got it!” to the other responding officers.

Early Thursday morning, the local Black Lives Matter affiliate tweeted that the “Terror Gang has once again taken the life of a young man,” and demanded the immediate release of the footage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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